I haven't been blogging a while, but I just made my New Year's resolution ( a bit late) to take it up again.
I had hoped that with the Democrats in charge of Congress, we would see a little less in the way of outrageous legislative proposals. I had forgotten that when it comes to digital media some Democrats can be particularly clueless. For example, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators are sponsoring the PERFORM
act. According to the proposed act, satellite and digital radio stations as well as Internet webcasters would have to adopt digital rights management (DRM) restrictions or lose the statutory license for broadcasting music. This act would restrict recording of streaming media and then choosing and playing back selections based on song title, artist, or genre. All audio services — podcasts included — would be obligated to implement copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording. Web sites like Live365 which use MP3 streaming would have to use proprietary DRM encrypted formats.
After this many years, it would be great if member of Congress could get the notion that recording transmitted media for personal use is not "theft". I don't think people should redistribute copyright material without permission, but if they do it is copyright violation not "theft". The sloppy use of language promotes bad legislation. Certainly, fair-use activities like recording for time-shifting, recording to move material to another device for playback etc. actually promotes digital material and in the long run enriches copyright holders. The EFF
has a good analysis of the bills shortcomings.
Finally, when did Congress get the idea that giving a bad law an acronym somehow would cover up its shortcomings - PATRIOT act, PERFORM act.